Be careful how you talk to yourself because you are listening~ Lisa M. Hayes
There is nothing more damaging for your heart and your being than negative self-talk. When you absorb and take as your truth the criticisms you heard from your family and peers, you develop a channel in your brain that dutifully replays the tape again and again and again in your head. Eventually, the words go into hiding in your psyche and form the constant whisper about our inadequacies that we live out.
How you terrorise yourself:
- Poor body image can keep you grabbing desperately for unhealthy fad diets that cause physical damage to your body
- The belief that you are not good enough can keep you pinned under its weight and can stop you from trying.
- The fear that of being shamed or mocked can keep you silent when it is growth-worthy for you to speak up
- Your lack of self-trust and confidence can keep you underperforming and feeling unfulfilled and unhappy
- Whining and complaining about life not working out can make you bitter and cynical
Negative thinking sources from the more primitive, survival-oriented and fear-based functions of your brain that lies to you and tells you:
- you are broken, powerless and incapable,
- you are a victim of circumstances and you have no control,
- your glass is half empty
- catastrophe will always happen to you
- things won’t ever work out so you might as well stop dreaming
Under this dark cloud of pessimism, you lose perspective, cannot think clearly and are usually unable to find peace and calm in your life. You tend to react rather than respond to new challenges or to change.
Research has discovered how negative inner chatter actually stops the flow of neurotransmitters like serotonin and endorphins that help you feel upbeat.
Thought is creative
The ‘you are not worthy because _____’ conversations literally rewires your thinking and program you to attract experiences that prove you are worthless and ineffective. Your boss shames you in front of co-workers, you fail repeatedly at a new activity you undertake, you come up short when asked to contribute to a project.
Putting an end to the Inner Terrorist
Get mindful – be your own sleuth and become aware when negative talk enters your consciousness. Counter the thoughts with a beautiful image, positive affirmation or a pro-you response.
Breathe in deeply – hold the intention to let go of the damaging thoughts – exhale fully. Imagine the thoughts leaving your mind and body and healthy positivity entering with the inhale
Change your speech – make a commitment to remove the ‘can’t’ ‘won’t’ and victim language from your expressions
Get ‘in the face’ of fear or anxiety by calling on your strength and confidence – it is there within you for your exclusive use especially when you feel your most uncertain
Forgive yourself and Suspend self-judgment for your imperfections, mistakes, failures and poor decisions. They are only a part of who you are. Reflect on what you learned from them.
Try this ->
Go a whole day without complaining. Every time you catch yourself complaining or speaking negatively, put a penny in a jar. See how much money you collect.
Now do this for a few days and tally your monetary contributions each day. Did they go up or down?
It takes 21 days to change a habit. Can you challenge yourself to drop the drama in your life for 21 days? If you notice resistance – ask yourself, “What is the push-back about? How can I set it aside to give this a try?”
Your negative self-talk suffocates your ability to be fully present and engaged. When you step away from self-criticism and pessimism, you ramp up possibility and kick limitations to the curb.
I arise today
Blessed by all things,
Wings of breath,
Delight of eyes,
Wonder of whisper,
Intimacy of touch,
Eternity of soul,
Urgency of thought,
Miracle of health,
Embrace of God.
May I live this day. ~ John O’Donohue